This year I got many more business Christmas cards by email than by post.. I assume that's general, and they've become mainstream. No doubt NZ Post can tell how much the normal Christmas card mailings dropped.
It is fashionable to decry the email Christmas cards. I liked most of them this year. Tasteful photographs seem to have replaced the moving bling-enhanced mini-posters of earlier years.
What a pity for NZ that NZ Post was not privatized years ago when its first transforming CEO Harvey Parker (and the Board) were warning the Government to take the gains of the huge increase in productivity before the rest of the world woke up to the difficult future for steam post. NZ Post was a world leader in post reform. When the government would not take the logical next step, Harvey Parker's team dissolved, though many had fun around the world advising other countries on how to stop losing money on dinosaur post.
If NZ Post's sunset businesses had been sold, even 10 years ago, the sale could have provided the capital needed by Kiwibank several times over.
There will always be fools around who'll pay on historical expectations for a horse based empire just as petroleum engines take over. Often they are politicians, driven by romantic attachment to sunset industries (or dependence on the funds and votes from their unions) like Dr Cullen and the repurchase of NZ Rail. But Telecom's inspired sale of Yellow Pages was a reminder that we can rely on compulsory superannuation scheme managers, and investment bankers who advise them, to squander their contributors' weekly mites. In March 2007, Telecom sold its Yellow Pages business for $2.24bn to the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Unitas Capital of Hong Kong. They and their bankers have lost most of their money.
I'm surprised that during the recent ill-informed debate on mixed ownership no one raised Bill Birch's inspired sale of the major forests, and some other dumpings of "family silver" onto overseas investors. The forest buyers lost well over 2/3rds of their investment. There are always investors around to gamble on the future looking like the past.